U.S. Agents exhibiting at NAAF (L to R) Kim Karacz – Second Nature Hair, Stephanie Rogers – Livin’ Life Hair, Sandra Fournier – Reality Hair, Jody Gorski – Resilience Hair Group, Karen Peterik – New Life Hair, Donna Schillaci – My Image by Donna
This year’s 30th Annual National Alopecia Areata Foundation International Conference was held at the end of June just outside the gates of Disneyland in Orange County, CA. It will always be one of the most memorable for me because it served as a fond farewell to Freedom Wigs’ founding owners, Murray and Averill Barrington. Along with our usual compliment of U.S. Independent Agents, we had the great pleasure of meeting and getting to know several of Freedom’s International Agents who attended. Australia, Ireland and the UK were all represented!
Independent Agent from Sydney, Australia, Martine Richards (l) is talking with our Dublin, Ireland Independent Agent, Audrey O’Hara and her husband, Tim. Audrey has gorgeous green eyes that can’t help but pop out next to her fair skin and 10” long auburn Freedom Hairpiece. Her warm personality and lovely accent entranced me completely!
Below is Angela De Francesci (Angel Wings) and her Italian husband, Sam, from Melbourne, Australia standing astride Angela’s client. In addition to being a FW Independent Agent she is also a licensed cosmetologist who offers her clients the added service of cutting and coloring their hairpieces. What a fabulous job she did for this male client!
It was lovely to compare notes with our Oxford, England agent, Sue Renigan and her daughter, Victoria. Sue’s business is called Positively Hair and she also offers her clients complete styling services.
Here is a nice photo of three of my favorite Down-Under women: Deanna Beattie, Averill Barrington and Martine Richards (l-r).
We chose one special night to say good bye and give thanks to our loving founders, Murray and Averill Barrington. They made the long trip from Dunedin, NZ specifically for this purpose and we took full advantage of this rare opportunity by presenting them with a specially made video showing the many faces of FW clients and agents from around the world. Murray has devoted his life to developing the vacuum prosthesis that has returned a sense of normalcy to so many of us and together with Averill, they have run the company as loving parents, looking after every detail of manufacturing and customer care. They will always be the “godparents” of Freedom Wigs but this June, they made the decision to pass the torch over to a most trusted, long time employee, Deanna Beattie and her husband, Gary. Those of you familiar with the FW web site will see their lovely daughter Libby gracing the pages wearing her Freedom Wigs hairpiece. In fact, this is how the family began its relationship with the company. Deanna has been operating as our head of customer service and traveling the world to train new agents and represent FW at conferences in European and Asian Alopecia conferences.
The Tortoise & Hair Fundraiser on Saturday morning provided all of us with the dual objectives of contributing to NAAF’s Research, Support and Awareness goals as well as get in a great 3 mile walk to offset the calories we took in the night before! (L to R) Averill and Murray Barrington, Kim Karacz, Karen Peterik, Sandra Fournier and Stephanie Rogers.